The Royal Navy is larger than it has ever been – nearly eight hundred ships and one hundred and twenty thousand men – and it is too small for the tasks demanded of it if the war is to be won.
British hardwood forests have been destroyed, with the exception of the untouchable New Forest. It is impossible to build enough ships to make up for losses, let alone to expand. At least twenty of the ships at sea are unfit for service, may well sink in the next storm.
The sole answer is to find an ally with a large fleet, or to capture the ships required, which is easier said than done.
Denmark has a large ocean-going fleet, but is neutral and terrified of France. Nick Turnhouse is tasked to find a way of taking the Danish fleet, laid up in Copenhagen, intact and immediately usable.
There is a way – provided he and the government of the day are prepared to sacrifice honour and decency. Perfidious Albion may yet prevail.